1. HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN
1.1 The Palaeolithic period (700 000 – 10 000 years ago)
1.2 The Mesolithic period (10,000 to 5500 years ago)
1.3 The Neolithic period (4000 – 2000 BC)
1.4 The Bronze Age (around 2200 to 750 BC)
1.5 British Iron Age (around 750 BC – 43 AD)
1.Cook J. Close to the Earth: Living Social History of the British Isles. - London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984.
2.Darvill T. Prehistoric Britain. - London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1997
3.Davies N. Europe: A History. - Harper Collins, 1998
4.Dyer J. Ancient Britain. - London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1990
5.Kearney H. The British Isles: A History of Four Nations. - Cambridge University Press, 1995
6.Артемова А.Ф. Великобритания. Книга для чтения по страноведению. – М, 2006
7.Васильев К. История Великобритании. – М, 2004
8.Гюйонварх К.-Ж., Леру Ф. Кельтская цивилизация. Пер. Г.Бондаренко. - СПб.-М.: Культурная инициатива; Московский философский фонд, 2001.
9.The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project - www.ahobproject.org
10. Britannica Onl
Показать всеine Encyclopedia - www.britannica.com Скрыть
A final ice age covered Britain between around 70,000 and 10,000 years ago with an extreme cold snap between 22,000 and 13,000 years ago called the Dimlington stadial (9). This may well have driven humans south and out of Britain altogether, pushing them back across the land bridge. Sites such as Gough's Cave in Somerset dated at 12,000 BC provide evidence suggesting that humans returned to Britain towards the end of this ice age, in a warm period known as the Dimlington interstadial although further extremes of cold right before the final thaw may have caused them to leave again and then return repeatedly (2). The environment during this ice age period would have been a largely treeless tundra, eventually replaced by a gradually warmer climate, perhaps reaching 17 degrees Celsius (62.6 Fa
Показать всеhrenheit) in summer which encouraged the expansion of birch trees as well as shrub and grasses.
The first distinct culture of the Upper Palaeolithic in Britain is what archaeologists call the Creswellian industry, with leaf-shaped points probably used as arrowheads (4). People of those period were fashioned into tools but also jewellery and rods of uncertain purpose. The dominant food species were equines and red deer although other mammals ranging from hares to mammoth were also hunted, including rhino and hyena. From the limited evidence available, burial seemed to involve skinning and dismembering a corpse with the bones placed in caves. This suggests a practice of excarnation and secondary burial, and possibly some form of ritual cannibalism (4).
1.2 The Mesolithic period (10,000 to 5500 years ago)
The Palaeolithic period of prehistoric Britain was followed by the Mesolithic. Around 10,000 years ago the ice age finally ended and the Holocene era began. Temperatures rose, probably to levels similar to those today, and forests expanded further. By 9500 years ago, the rising sea levels caused by the melting glaciers cut Britain off from Ireland, and by around 6,500 to 6,000 BC continental Europe was cut off for the last time (2). The warmer climate changed the Arctic environment to one of pine, birch, and alder forest; this less open landscape was less conducive to the large herds of reindeer and wild horse that had previously sustained humans. Those animals were replaced in people's diets by pig and less social animals such as elk, red deer, roe deer, wild boar and aurochs (wild cattle) which would have required different hunting techniques in order to be effectively exploited (4). Tools changed to incorporate barbs which could snag the flesh of a hunted animal, making it harder for it to escape alive. Tiny microliths were developed for hafting onto harpoons and spears. Woodworking tools such as adzes appear in the archaeological record, although some flint blade types remained similar to their Palaeolithic predecessors. The dog was domesticated because of its benefits during hunting and the wetland environments created by the warmer weather would have been a rich source of fish (2).
It is likely that these environmental changes were accompanied by social changes amongst the Britons of this time. Humans spread and reached the far north of Scotland during this period (5). Sites from the British Mesolithic include the Mendips, Star Carr in Yorkshire and Oronsay in the Inner Hebrides. Excavations at Howick in Northumberland uncovered evidence of a large circular building dating to c. 7,600 BC which is interpreted as a dwelling (4). The older view of Mesolithic Britons as being exclusively nomadic is now being replaced with a more complex picture of seasonal occupation or, in some cases, permanent occupation and attendant land and food source management where conditions permitted it. Travel distances seem to have become shorter, typically with movement between high and low ground. The climate had been warming since the later Mesolithic and continued to improve, replacing the earlier pine forests with woodland. Though the Mesolithic environment was of a bounteous nature, the rising population and ancient Britons' success in exploiting it eventually led to local exhaustion of many natural resources (4).
However, the major event of the period is the cutting of the land bridge. It had a number of important effects: migration became more difficult and remained for long impossible to large numbers. Thus Britain developed insular characteristics, absorbing and adapting rather than fully participating in successive continental cultures (1). And within the island geography worked to a similar end; the fertile southeast was more receptive of influence from the adjacent continent than were the less-accessible hill areas of the west and north.
1.3 The Neolithic period (4000 – 2000 BC)
The Neolithic was the period of domestication of plants and animals. A debate is currently being waged between those who believe that the introduction of farming and a sedentary lifestyle was brought about by resident peoples adopting new practices, and those who hold the opinion that it was effected by continental invaders bringing their culture with them and, to some degree, replacing the indigenous populations.
Forest clearances were undertaken to provide room for cereal cultivation and animal herds. Native cattle and pigs were reared whilst sheep and goats were later introduced from the continent as were the wheats and barleys grown in Britain. However, bone analysis indicates that, during the whole Neolithic period, people's diet contained little food which was not of animal origin. This suggests that farming in Britain was more concerned with animal husbandry than the growing of crops. Cereals were grown, of course (the land would have been worked with spades, hoes, and, perhaps, rudimentary ploughs), but there is speculation that the grain was, mostly, used for ritual purposes (4).
As well as farming skills, pottery making know-how also arrived in Britain. Early in the Neolithic the, round-bottomed, pots – fashioned from coils, or flattened pieces, of clay – tend to be plain, and geographically homogenous. From about 3800BC, however, regional, decorated, styles appear. About 2800BC, so called, ‘Grooved ware’ – flat-bottomed, bucket-shaped, pots named after their decorative style – began to be produced. It seems possible that this style developed in Orkney, and spread down through Britain from there (1).
The arrival of farming and a sedentary lifestyle is increasingly giving way to a more complex view of the changes and continuities in practices that can be observed from the Mesolithic period onwards. For example the development of Neolithic monumental architecture apparently venerating the dead may represent more comprehensive social and ideological changes involving new interpretations of time, ancestry, community and identity.
So-called Neolithic Revolution introduced a more settled way of life and ultimately led to societies becoming divided into differing groups of farmers, artisans and leaders. The traditional view is that the Neolithic was a peaceful age, but there is now a considerable body of evidence highly suggestive of warfare. For example, at both Crickley Hill and Carn Brea, hundreds of leaf-shaped arrowheads, found clustered around entrances and associated with evidence of burning, are indicative that the sites came under attack (1).
The characteristic tool of the Neolithic Age is the polished axe (2). The axe-head would be roughed out from a suitable piece of stone, and then, laboriously, ground and polished to produce the final shape and an effective cutting edge. It would be attached to a wooden haft for use. Axe-heads manufactured from stone quarried at certain sites, often called ‘axe factories’, seem to have been particularly valued, and had a wide distribution. It is certainly clear that not all axe-heads were produced simply for use as tools. They appear to have been prized on an aesthetic level – appreciated for the beauty of the polished rock.
Most of the clothing was manufactured from animal skins – though perforated stones, which may have served as spindle whorls or loom weights, might suggest that woolen cloth and linen became available during the British Neolithic (2).
Houses were, usually, rectangular – of timber construction, – but they are, perhaps surprisingly, not at all common (4). The rarity of permanent Neolithic settlements in Britain has led to the suggestion that these early farmers did not, necessarily, remain in one place all the time, but moved around within a defined area – a pattern of behavior known as ‘tethered mobility’. Cave occupation was also common at this time (2).
1.4 The Bronze Age (around 2200 to 750 BC)
Little is known in detail of the early and middle Bronze Age. Because of present ignorance of domestic sites, these periods are mainly defined by technological advances and changes in tools or weapons. Early in the 2nd millennium or perhaps even earlier, from 2300 BC, changes were introduced by the Beaker culture from the Low Countries and the middle Rhine (1).
Beaker pottery appears along with flat axes and burial practices of inhumation. People of this period were also largely responsible for building many famous prehistoric sites such as the later phases of Stonehenge along with Seahenge (4).
Immigrаtiоn brоught new peоple tо the islаnds frоm the cоntinent. Recent tооth enаmel isоtоpe reseаrch оn bоdies fоund in eаrly Brоnze Аge grаves аrоund Stоnehenge indicаtes thаt аt leаst sоme оf the immigrаnts cаme frоm the аreа оf mоdern Switzerlаnd (9). The Beаker culture displаyed different behаviоurs frоm the eаrlier Neоlithic peоple аnd culturаl chаnge wаs significаnt. Integrаtiоn is thоught tо hаve been peаceful, аs mаny оf the eаrly henge sites were seemingly аdоpted by the newcоmers.
Аlsо, the buriаl оf deаd (which until this periоd hаd usuаlly been cоmmunаl) becаme mоre individuаl (1). Fоr instаnce, whereаs in the Neоlithic а lаrge chаmbered cаirn оr lоng bаrrоw wаs used tо hоuse the deаd, the 'Eаrly Brоnze Аge' sаw peоple buried in individuаl bаrrоws or sometimes in cists covered with cairns. They were often buried with a beaker alongside the body.
Later in the period, cremation was adopted as a burial practice with cemeteries of urns containing cremated individuals appearing in the archaeological record, with deposition of metal objects such as daggers. People of this period were also largely responsible for building many famous prehistoric sites such as the later phases of Stonehenge along with Seahenge (1). The Bronze Age people lived in round houses and divided up the landscape. They ate cattle, sheep, pigs and deer as well as shellfish and birds. They carried out salt manufacture. The wetlands were a source of wildfowl and reeds.
There is some debate amongst archaeologists as to whether the 'Beaker people' were a race of people who migrated to Britain from the continent, or whether a prestigious Beaker cultural "package" of goods and behaviours (which eventually spread across most of western Europe) diffused to Britain's existing inhabitants through trade across tribal boundaries. Modern thinking tends towards the latter view (2).
Part of the Beaker culture that is believed to be of Iberian origin brought to Britain the skill of refining metal. At first they made items from copper, but then they had discovered how to make bronze (which is much harder than copper) by mixing copper with a small amount of tin (4). With this discovery, the Bronze Age began in Britain. Over the next thousand years, bronze gradually replaced stone as the main material for tool and weapon making. Bronze-age Britons were also skilled at making ornaments from gold.
At the same time in southern Britain have been developed a rich Wessex culture (1). The weather, previously wаrm аnd dry, becаme much wetter аs the Brоnze Аge cоntinued, fоrcing the pоpulаtiоn аwаy frоm eаsily-defended sites in the hills аnd intо the fertile vаlleys. Lаrge livestоck fаrms develоped in the lоwlаnds which аppeаr tо hаve cоntributed tо ecоnоmic grоwth аnd inspired increаsing fоrest cleаrаnces.
1.5 British Iron Age (around 750 BC – 43 AD) Скрыть
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